February 19, 2016

Item from Ian: Greenest City, Black Water?

James can tell you I’ve been an advocate for a pool in False Creek for some time, and every time I have mentioned it among friends, the first remark is ‘ew!’ or ‘I don’t want to go anywhere near that water‘.

How is it possible that we as a city/province/people are comfortable with crap water? (or more specifically, Crap IN our water see here, here, here and here)

There’s plenty of ew out there, but is the solution to never touch the water again, or to consider doing something about the ew!?

I was really happy to see HCMA’s proposal that there be a floating pool in the harbour … I’d never had a chance to draw up my idea, so more than happy that someone local beat me to it. There are plenty of precedents +Pool, Thames Bath, Copenhagen bath by BIG + JDS … and everyone in Basel who floats lazily down the Rhine (which wasn’t exactly clean not that long ago)

Coal Harbour Bath by HCMA

Coal Harbour Deck – Image courtesy of HCMA

The last time I was in Toronto, I was excited to see that there was a huge construction project going on – the Blue Flag Project (I think that was the overall project’s name … I’m struggling to remember the logo on the hoarding) which aimed/aims at making all of Toronto beaches swimmable. As someone who has judiciously swum off of Toronto Islands, and even more judiciously rowed by Ontario place, I can tell you this is a welcome change.

How is this not a thing here? We’re the ‘Greenest’ city, but we have BLACK water?

From the comments in one of the articles about HCMA’s project, with my thoughts:
‘Gross’then we should clean the water.
‘Why anyone would want to swim in Coal Harbour is beyond me’ – well, there’s a nice view, thats a good start. 
‘I don’t think its a smart idea to be building this so close to the floatplane terminal’ – tell that to everyone eating at Cactus Club.

And a comment on one of the facebook posts about HCMA’s proposal stated essentially (I can’t find it specifically) ‘there’s so much gas in the water from the float plane terminal I wouldn’t want to swim there’ – they should stop spilling gas in the water then! After all, any spill that threatens the environmental quality of water, land or air must be reported.

And finally, to plug an event that is happening tonight at the MOV!

What opportunities exist to create innovative, engaging public spaces in one of Canada’s most densely populated and expensive cities? How can a highly livable city surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty be described as “no fun” or have disengaged, unhappy citizens?

Join us for a lively discussion about what’s possible for Vancouver’s public realm, one that engages the water surrounding Vancouver in new ways. At this event presented by HCMA, people will discover the informed research and creative process behind Coal Harbour Deck (on display inYour Future Home), a project that reclaims Vancouver’s water for a new type of urban space. Visitors can have a look at some other initiatives that HCMA is working on to create and enhance public social spaces, and improve Vancouver’s relationship with water. Access to the Your Future Home exhibition is included with admission to this event.

Following the presentation, Mark Busse will facilitate a discussion about how we can, collectively, create new and engaging public spaces in our city as well as a fun activity with a prize for the best audience contribution! Grab a drink from the cash bar, have a snack, dive in to the issues, and let the ideas and conversation flow!

Date: Friday, February 19
Bar open: 6:00-9:00pm
Presentation begins: 7:00pm
Tickets: Access to Your Future Home included with admission: $15 adults; $11 Students & Seniors; Free for MOV Members. Register here.

More about the project here … file this under the Department of Rad Shit that Vancouver certainly could use more of.

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  1. Blue Flag did come to make a presentation in Vancouver last year and to my understanding the City and the Parks board were to investigate the feasibility of certifying all Vancouver’s beaches.

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